13631684_1297405003610692_8199529438023879407_nEach family must volunteer 10 hours per school year for Johnny’s daycare. Our family’s time commitment has now been met, thanks to Dad! (I’m sure Lauren would have helped too but I was just so god damned eager to jump in!) First I designed the logos for their little Mother’s Day t-shirts, and then I was coaxed into coming in and giving a presentation on the northern states of our country. Well that’s not true. I signed up for it, and then followed through when asked to do so. Technically these things took only like 5 hours total, but I think they’ll let it slide.

Back when I was a kid, the dads (Reverend Greg Van Heukelom aside) just never did these things. Every time there was a classroom holiday party or something, it was only the mothers that came in. I can’t imagine my dad, Rick Hovde, Mike Korbel, Jerry Brower, or Myron LaMont having come into our third grade classroom and helping organize Halloween games or something! Either times have changed or I’m just an oddball.

I spent much of Wednesday night writing a speech and preparing a PowerPoint presentation with lively photos to dazzle the children’s minds. I also went on some Mommy blogs and found out how to make fake snow (baking soda + shaving cream + freezer) and decided to dress up in all my winter gear.

I walked into the room and there were 20 tiny tots sitting in a big circle waiting for me. Johnny spotted me and happily marched over and sat next to me. He acted so much different in school than at home… so weird to see. I immediately ditched my 3 pages of speech and just went through the 50-slide PowerPoint presentation and talked about all the pictures, mostly from South Dakota and Minnesota, but I had to mention all the northern states. The kids were in fact blown away by my Ziplock bag of “snow” and all laughed when I put on my ski mask, scarf, mittens, etc. Imagine some authority figure walking into a daycare and seeing a large man in a ski mask standing in the middle of the room.

One girl kept raising her hand. “Um, Mr. Ryan??? Um, a bear tried to eat me once… but I got away.” “Um, Mr. Ryan??? I saw a wolf in the woods once… and um, he was making FIRE!!” The teachers were like “Hey! Remember what we talked about? Be a role model.” After I told the kids how long it takes to drive in a car from Austin to Carpenter, one kid was like “umm, if you took a spaceship… into space… um, you could go to the moon, like, a lot faster.” Uhh… sure, kid.

The kids were very glued in for the first 5-10 minutes but after that they started talking over me and many got up and wandered off. Nevertheless, it wound up being pretty fun. The teachers were all very impressed and asked me to come back again someday.